The Rockets announced Friday that guard Jeremy Lin will miss at least two weeks with a right knee sprain. If Lin misses exactly two weeks, he will be sidelined for Houston's next eight games.
Lin suffered the injury during the first quarter of Houston's 113-84 victory over at Atlanta on Wednesday. As he stepped into the paint to offer help defense on a Paul Millsap drive, Lin appeared to knock knees with the Hawks forward. He departed the game with 7:50 remaining in the first quarter and did not return. Lin went scoreless and had one assist in four minutes against Atlanta.
Houston has juggled a series of minor early-season injuries, and Lin started against the Hawks in place of All-Star guard James Harden, who has been dealing with foot soreness. With Lin sidelined, look for Rockets coach Kevin McHale to start Patrick Beverley and Harden together and use reserve point guard Aaron Brooks in an expanded role off the bench.
Per NBA.com/stats, Beverley (109 offensive rating, 100.7 defensive rating) is outperforming Lin (106.3 offensive rating, 102 defensive rating) on both sides of the ball this season, so the Rockets should be able to hold down the fort as long as Harden returns in short order. The timing here isn't ideal: five of Houston's next eight games are against plus-.500 teams, including road games against San Antonio and Portland, the Western Conference's top two teams.
The Houston Chronicle notes that Lin had played in 98 consecutive games for the Rockets prior to his injury. Lin underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus in his left knee in April 2012.
Lin, 25, is averaging 15.3 points, 4.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 30.1 minutes this season.
The Rockets (11-5) host the Nets (4-11) on Friday.
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